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Our Story

Jean and Ed began their work on business and the natural environment at Western Illinois University in the late 1970s. Jean was teaching economics and working on her MBA at the time, and Ed was teaching organizational development, organizational behavior, and organizational theory. While doing research for an MBA paper, Jean was introduced to the works of Herman Daly on steady state economics. It was a paradigm shifting moment for her. Daly challenged everything she had learned while earning her undergraduate and masters degrees in economics, and it didn’t take long for her to bring Ed into the fold. She passionately introduced him to the works of Daly, E. F. Schumacher, and others who were systematically debunking the unlimited-economic-growth-is-possible-and-desirable-forever myth fostered in mainstream economics. They pursued their newfound interest with a passion over the next couple of years, all the while preparing many of their meals from Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet. In 1979 they decided to write a book for managers expressing their concerns about how their decisions affected the natural environment, and it didn’t take much of a creative juxtaposition for the title of the book to reveal itself to them: Management for a Small Planet. In 1980 their daughter was born, and in 2010 and 2013 their grandchildren were born, adding even more fuel to the flames of their passion to help create a sustainable world. In 1983 Jean earned her PhD at LSU, having the opportunity to study under both Herman Daly and corporate social responsibility pioneer Edmund Gray. Since that time, Jean and Ed have dedicated their careers to helping managers, students, and communities understand how to efficiently and effectively integrate concern for nature and society into their management decisions and processes.